Tag Archives: The Pen Market

Win this Lamy Lx!

Helping us celebrate 100 blog posts, Mike D., our Lamy candyman, has given us a brand new Lamy Lx Au (Gold) to give away! This shiny, medium-nibbed wonder comes complete with its special case and papers. It also includes a free ink cartridge. It has a retail value of $70.

Win this brand new Lamy Lx Au (Gold) fountain pen. It is the brand new pen from Lamy. Each purchase of a writing instrument in the month of June enters you to win!

Our native Chicago is a pay-to-play city, and our contest works the same way. For every pen or pencil you purchase between June 1, 2017, and July 1, 2017, at 6 p.m. Central Daylight Time, we will enter your name on a slip of paper and put it in a hat. The winner’s name will be drawn at random from that hat and announced on Independence Day.

If you buy 10 or 100 or however many writing instruments you want this month, your name will be entered that many times. Ink, refills and other writing ephemera do not qualify for entry. Items purchased from our Trading Post do not qualify for entry, either.

The winner wins this pictured Lamy Lx Au Fountain Pen. No substitutions will be allowed. The retail value of this prize is $70, but we will not grant a cash equivalent to the winner. You are stuck with a supremely awesome pen that writes smoothly, takes a lickin’ and travels extremely well on most any summer vacation adventure!

Seriously, we don’t vacation without a Lamy! I’ve taken my Lamy to Germany, Paris, Hong Kong and all over the United States. Their reliability and durability is why Lamy was the first new line of pens I decided to carry. Remember we have great bargains on Lamy Al-Stars, Safaris and 2000s on our new pens pages. Plus, we have a complete line of Lamy ink and refills.

James Bond Has No Ordinary Mont Blanc

James Bond uses a sterling silver Mont Blanc 146 LeGrand solitaire fountain pen in the classic 1983 film "Octopussy."

James Bond uses a sterling silver Mont Blanc 146 LeGrand solitaire fountain pen in the classic 1983 film “Octopussy.”

Between the ages of 7 and 10, I set out on a quest to watch every James Bond movie made up until that point. Over the course of several summers, I was in a state gadget and spy bliss. I’ve keep up with Agent 007 ever since then. When an opportunity too good to pass up arrived, I was able buy each of the Bond movies in a mega collection on Blu-ray this summer for an insanely cheap price.

Satisfying my inner 10 year old over the summer has been tons of fun. Bond has a history of awesome pens, but the easiest one to identify was a sterling silver Mont Blanc 146 Solitaire in the 1983 classic “Octopussy.”

Roger Moore plays Bond, and it is one of his better Bond films. Not as good as “The Spy Who Loved Me,” it is still better than most of his others. This time a fake Faberge egg leads to a ring of jewel thieves led by a mysterious Maud Adams in the title role. Yet, her backers are really using her as a cover for their own nefarious nuclear attack. Louis Jourdan (of “Gigi” fame) is the evil villain.

Unlike a typical Mont Blanc fountain pen, Q tricks out this one to hold a reserve of highly potent acid that burns through metal.

Unlike a typical Mont Blanc fountain pen, Q tricks out this one to hold a reserve of highly potent acid that burns through metal.

As the infinitely clever Q outfits Bond with his gadgets for the film, he hands him the sterling 146. Unlike a traditional fountain pen, it is loaded with a very potent acid instead of ink. The acid is strong enough to melt steel bars. Yet, it is mild enough not to eat through the plastic (oops, we mean “precious resin”) base of the fountain pen under the sterling silver. This is why Q gets paid the big bucks.

Spoiler alert: The pen comes in handy as Bond uses it to bust out of a prison cell in India.

The pen also holds an amplifier that allows Bond to hear conversations through walls. A very hand device for a super spy.

James Bond's sterling silver Mont Blanc 146 also holds a special amplifier that allows him to better listen to conversations through walls.

James Bond’s sterling silver Mont Blanc 146 also holds a special amplifier that allows him to better listen to conversations through walls.

Mind you, I absolutely love Bond movies. But the big question I always have is simply, once the villain identifies Bond is, in fact, Bond and captures him, as he invariably will, why doesn’t he take all of Bond’s stuff. By now they always know that Bond is a super-star assassin/spy who kills every bad guy he comes into contact with. Why do they always–ALWAYS–fail to take his watch, pens and other possessions. Even the ones who used to be spies themselves always fail to thoroughly search him for every possibly possession.

Anyhow, the one really unique thing about this pen in “Octopussy” is that Mont Blanc fails to brand the pen. Instead of their traditional snow cap star, they put on a sterling topper. Mont Blanc even gets special thanks in the credits. It seems odd they wouldn’t want to take advantage of the Bond sales bump.

We have a sterling silver Mont Blanc 146 LeGrand fountain pen that is very similar to Bond's. Unfortunately, it only holds ink. DO NOT load it with acid!

We have a sterling silver Mont Blanc 146 LeGrand fountain pen that is very similar to Bond’s. Unfortunately, it only holds ink. DO NOT load it with acid!

We are more than happy to take advantage of it. We have one such sterling silver Mont Blanc 146 LeGrand fountain pen on our preowned luxury pens pages. It is in great working order and a helluva bargain compared to a new one.

Testing Lamy Nibs & Inks

If you caught us at the Chicago Pen Show, then you saw our really fun Lamy nib-and-ink-testing station. It was a great opportunity to try each of Lamy’s 7 nib sizes used on their super-popular Safari, AL-Star and Studio pen models. Each of our pens was loaded with one of the 7 different ink colors Lamy sells in cartridges.

Check out the 7 standard nib sizes and ink colors put out by Lamy. These range from extra-fine nib to a 1.9mm stub! Blue-black ink gives the best shadowing in a Lamy pen. These nibs can be ordered for any Lamy Safari, Lamy AL-Star and Lamy Studio fountain pen.

Check out the 7 standard nib sizes and ink colors put out by Lamy. These range from an extra-fine nib to a 1.9mm stub! Blue-black ink gives the best shadowing in a Lamy pen. These nibs can be ordered for any Lamy Safari, Lamy AL-Star and Lamy Studio fountain pen.

This sample shows the nibs ranging extra fine, fine, medium, broad, 1.1mm, 1.5mm and 1.9mm. I think our most popular seller was the 1.5mm nib followed by the medium nib. Extra fine is popular these days, but so many write with a bit of feedback. Personally, I love the medium, 1.1mm and 1.5mm nibs. The stubs offer nice line variation at a very affordable price. In a Lamy Safari, they make great travel pens that can get beat-up or lost without inducing guilt. Plus, with a fancy stub nib, your postcards and journal will look great.

The broad nib is actually much juicier than the image makes it look.

Our most popular inks were purple and turquoise. Purple was no surprise, given the popularity of the new dark lilac Safari. Turquoise did surprise me. Men bought it in droves, and they typically stick to standard blues and blacks. Yet, I’ve been thinking of using it much more than in years past. It’s a nice color.

For folks who like the stub nibs, I highly recommend the blue-black ink by Lamy. As you can see, it offers the most shading. The black is more solidly black without as much shading as a Parker Quink or Pelikan. Green is a great color that seems underused.

We are thinking of making the Lamy nib and ink stations standard for any show we can drive to. Hopefully, we will see you soon. In the meantime, I hope this photo serves as a good indicator as to the qualities of these Lamy nibs and inks.

Was Norman Rockwell a Pen Addict?

With their passion for Parker overriding their desire to kiss under the mistletoe, clearly painter Norman Rockwell understood the obsession of pen collectors around the world. Happy Holidays!

With their passion for Parker overriding their desire to kiss under the mistletoe, clearly painter Norman Rockwell understood the obsession of pen collectors around the world. Happy Holidays!

Just one look at this vintage Parker ad, and you know that its painter Norman Rockwell understood pen collectors very well. Sure, it might look a little schmaltzy with two attractive young lovers ignoring one another’s lips under the mistletoe, but they just got new Parker 61s! Of course, they are geeked about their new treasures!

We, here at ThePenMarket.com, hope you get exactly what you want this holiday season!

With respect to all faiths and those without faith, have a Merry Christmas, Happy (belated) Hanukkah, a Joyous Kwanzaa, a Fun Festivus, a Super Solstice and a generally warm winter filled with peace and love.

May you get your heart’s desire.

Best wishes from all of us at ThePenMarket.com

Goodies from the Ohio Pen Show

November has been a crazy-busy month. First, I turned 40 near the start of the month. Friends flew in from Montana, and others locally joined in for much mirth and madness.

Here are three trays of new fountain pens for this website. Most of them are already fully restored!

Here are three trays of new fountain pens for this website. Most of them are already fully restored!

The following weekend saw me in Columbus, Ohio, enjoying their glorious pen show.

This weekend was Thanksgiving weekend.

I haven’t forgotten you, loyal readers. I’ve just been recovering and gearing up for a killer Cyber Monday and a spectacular holiday shopping season.

Ohio was wildly successful for all of the new connections, old friends and amazing pens. I finally got to meet the incredible nib specialist Richard Binder. I also met the legendary pen repairman Ron Zorn. Jonathan Veley gave me my first lesson in vintage pencil repair. A Mont Blanc specialist was able to assist in several specific repairs.

I picked up this mandarin orange Sheaffer Snorkel Statesman and Fiesta Red Clipper for my own collection, I love them

I picked up this mandarin orange Sheaffer Snorkel Statesman and Fiesta Red Clipper for my own collection, I love them




I scored more than 30 new pens for your perusal, and I picked up two rare color Sheaffer Snorkels. A mandarin orange Statesman and a fiesta red Clipper made my entire trip. Sorry, folks, I’m keeping those two for myself.

Yet of the 30+ new pens, there are ample rare colored 51 pencils to match up with any solitary pens in your collection. Pelikans, Parkers and Sheaffers make up the bulk of the collection. Yet, my favorite is a sky blue Conklin! It is difficult for me to resist it’s pull.

We’ve Struck the Motherlode!

Witness more than 300 vintage and modern fountain pens and writing instruments we have recently acquired for the website! If anything catches your eye, ask and we'll tell you all about it.

Witness more than 300 vintage and modern fountain pens and writing instruments we have recently acquired for the website! If anything catches your eye, ask and we’ll tell you all about it.

It has been a while since we updated these pages, but we’ve been extremely busy putting together 3 huge acquisitions of vintage and modern pens. We have tons of vintage Sheaffers, Parkers, Conklins and Waterman fountain pens as well as preowned pens by Mont Blanc, Parker, Caran d’Ache, Pelikan, Waterman and many others.

You will soon see more than 300 writing instruments available…once we restore them all to their former glory. We have great pens ranging from a Parker 20 1/2 Jack Knife Safety pen to red Wahl-Eversharp Dorics to early wide-bodied Sheaffer TouchDowns to half a set of oversized Sheaffer Balance Lifetimes with their original nib stickers including Extra Fine, Fine, Medium and STUB!

The Mont Blanc pens include a Writer’s Series Agatha Christie and many bargains on the standard Meisterstucks!

Keep checking in to see what is new every day on our vintage pens pages and pre-owned pens pages. Enjoy!

Pens of World War II–Revisited

Back in October of 2013 I discussed General MacArthur’s Big Red Parker Duofold and General Eisenhower’s Parker 51s used to sign the surrender treaties at the end of World War II because I had seen one of them in Paris’ Museum of the Army. The plot thickened when the museum responded with no knowledge of the Parker 51 I saw. They did mention a French General’s Parker Duofold used to sign treaties at the end of the war. Grandson of Kenneth Parker (who personally gave Ike a set of 51s to end the war), Geoff Parker then discussed his knowledge of the famed 51s.

Gen. Dwight Eisenhower holds up 2 of the pens used to sign the German surrender, ending World War II in Europe in May of 1945. One of those pens is a Parker 51, which is now on display in Paris' Musee de l'Armee.

Gen. Dwight Eisenhower holds up 2 of the pens used to sign the German surrender, ending World War II in Europe in May of 1945. One of those pens is a Parker 51, which is now on display in Paris’ Musee de l’Armee.

At the end of that article, I left a challenge for other pen collectors to find the Parker 51 I failed to photograph back in Paris.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, although nobody has sent us a photo, yet, the story caught the eye of fascinated WWII historians Cheryl H. and her husband Roy R. They had been reading John Toland’s “The Last 100 Days,” when they stumbled on these “Drippy Musings.” Bless their hearts, they tore into the mystery like a pit bull on a juicy marrow-filled bone.

Below is exactly what they found, and it is pretty fascinating for history and pen buffs! Unlike Geoff who said Ike had several pens to use, Toland limits it to two…the rest is Cheryl’s message to me:

Using numbers to make this a bit easier to follow….

1. Totally no doubt about the 2 gold pens: 1 gold plated and 1 solid gold from Kenneth Parker and that indeed Ike had carried around knowing they would eventually be used….

2. At Rheims, France, on May 6-7 in a local school Eisenhower waited in his office while the other participants assembled.

3. By the time everyone got done horsing around with what were eventually 3 surrender documents it was early on May 7, 1945. (Signing was at 2:41 a.m.)

4. The signers were: Ike’s Chief of Staff Walter Bedell Smith; Russian Major General Ivan Susloparov; French Major Francois Sevez; German General Alfred Jodl, and for the Brits, Major General Bernard Montgomery.

5. AHA! Ike didn’t sign!! (He refused to be in the same room with the Germans before they surrendered.)

6. BUT! Ike’s pens did! One of Ike’s aides named Butcher brought in the 2 Parker pens and gave the solid gold one to Walter Bedell Smith and the gold-plated one to Jodl. The solid gold one was passed to the other Allies by Walter Bedell Smith…that is, to Sevez, Susloparov, and Montgomery.

7. It appears as though Ike had planned to present one of the pens to President Truman and send the other to our old friend Kenneth Parker. That was his stated intent at one point, at least.

8. Aide Butcher, after Jodl signed with the gold plated Parker, took the Parker away from Jodl and gave Jodl his (Butcher’s) own personal Scheaffer pen to sign the following 2 documents as a nice little souvenir for Butcher. (Gotta love a guy who sees through the historic significance of the moment…..)

9. Previous to May, there had already been an armistice signed between Italy and the Allies. Mussolini and Alan Dulles for the U.S. (His brother was Ike’s Secretary of State John Foster Dulles) Sorry…appears no one knows or cares what pens were used!

10. At some date after May 7 there was another armistice signing on the eastern front between the Russians and the Germans…I think they used Bic ballpoints. [Cerf here: Ballpoints came into prominence during the war, but Bic didn’t make the first ones. So likely not Bic. Bic was founded Oct. 25, 1945.]

But this leaves the question of Generale Tassigny…his pen is photographed and he must have signed something with it…but it does not appear to be the documents at Rheims. Guess someone will have to go to Paris to figure out that little puzzle. (I will probably burn up the internet tomorrow or sometime to work on that…)

(AND search she did. She continues…)

Re: French Major Generale Tassigny. I think we have solved that one. On May 7 I believe that M.G. Tassigny was a “witness” to Major Sevez’s signing. The next day, May 8, there were another series of surrender papers signed (by now the Russians had arrived at Rheims) and M.G. Tassigny did actually sign that day. What I/we didn’t realize is that there were a number of different surrender documents, signed over a number of days, and signed by various people. The French are so (justifiably) proud of their history and their people that it seems to me that since they have M.G. Tassigny’s pen, why not use it as fully as possible? He did indeed sign an armistice/surrender document. BTW…one reason for various surrenders was that the Russians didn’t trust anyone, and few trusted the Russians!

Another little tidbit: Ike told, I think it was, Walter Bedell Smith, that of the 2 Parker pens, one would go to President Truman and one to Kenneth Parker. Bedell Smith replied,” What about Churchill?” to which Ike said, “Oh darn it. (or something like that!) I forgot about him!”  That leaves me puzzled because Ike had to have given Churchill “something;” the pen in Ike’s Abilene library is no doubt the one used on May 7 by Bedell Smith.

Me again. Just to clarify, the pen at the Eisenhower Presidential Library is the pen he gave to Truman. Geoff Parker thinks it is possible there were more than two pens, so that Churchill and Kenneth each could have gotten a token of the surrender. And that, dear friends, is what we have found so far.Always feel free to contribute, as we love to hear from other dedicated pen fans and historians!

Customer Appreciation Lottery! Win a Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen!

We like you. We really, really like you!

We will especially really, really like one of you on the 4th of July!

With every purchase of a pen or pencil from ThePenMarket.com between June 3 and July 4 (at 6 p.m.) you will be given a chance to win this great aluminum Lamy Al-Star and a box of ink cartridges.

With every purchase of a pen or pencil from ThePenMarket.com between June 4 and July 4 (at 6 p.m.) you will be given a chance to win this great aluminum Lamy Al-Star and a box of ink cartridges.

For the next month at ThePenMarket.com we are giving each purchaser of a pen or pencil a chance to win this brand-new, factory-direct aluminum Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen! It comes with a black medium nib and one box of blue or black ink cartridges of the winner’s choice.

Our native Chicago is a pay-to-play city, and our contest works the same way. For every pen or pencil you purchase between June 4, 2015, and July 4, 2015, at 6 p.m. Central Daylight Time, we will enter your name on a slip of paper and put it in a hat. The winner’s name will be drawn at random from that hat some time after the fireworks have finished for the night.

If you buy 10 or 100 or however many writing instruments you want this month, your name will be entered that many times. Ink, refills and other writing ephemera do not qualify for entry. Items purchased from our Trading Post do not qualify for entry, either.

The winner wins this pictured Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen and a box of either blue or black ink cartridges. No substitutions will be allowed. The retail value of this prize is $52, but we will not grant a cash equivalent to the winner. You are stuck with a supremely awesome pen that writes smoothly, takes a lickin’ and travels extremely well on most any summer vacation adventure!

Seriously, we don’t vacation without one! I’ve taken my Lamy to Germany, Paris, Hong Kong and all over the United States. Their reliability and durability is why Lamy was the first new line of pens I decided to carry. Remember we have great bargains on Lamy Al-Stars, Safaris and 2000s on our new pens pages. Plus, we have a complete line of Lamy ink and refills.

Before I close, I want to give a special thanks to Mike D., our Lamy candyman, for this wonderful prize to give away!

Launching New Pens’ Site!

We’ve done it! ThePenMarket.com is now a fully licensed and authorized dealer of Lamy and Yard-O-Led writing instruments!

When we first launched this business, we figured we’d have a complete assortment of every brand-new modern pen available on the market within 6 months. We also didn’t know jack about anything. Yet, after 7 years of hard but fun work, we are proud to finally deliver on that promise of new pens.

This is the incredible 18k white gold nib from the Yard-O-Led Astoria. It is one of many great NEW pens you will find on our New Pens pages, now that we are an authorized dealer for Lamy and Yard-O-Led.

This is the incredible 18k white gold nib from the Yard-O-Led Astoria. It is one of many great NEW pens you will find on our New Pens pages, now that we are an authorized dealer for Lamy and Yard-O-Led.

If you wonder why we have been so quiet on the blog for the past several months, this is why. We were just way too busy working behind the scenes getting the new pens ready with help from our wonderful friends at Computer Friendly Associates.

Enough, with the small talk, come take a tour of the New Pens section with us. Click that New Pens link in the last sentence. It should open up a new tab showcasing the new section.

To go exploring just click whichever brand you prefer: Lamy or Yard-O-Led. This will show you all of the models presently available for sale. If you clicked Lamy, you will see the Safari and the Al-Star! We will be adding more soon, but we wanted to open this to you now so you can play around in it to see what you think and to get your feedback.

Let’s say you are interested in the Safari. Below the main image you will see tabs for the different styles the Safari comes in: Fountain Pen, Rollerball, Ballpoint and Pencil.

Click the Fountain Pen, and you will see all of the colors and nib options available. Unlike any other dealership, we gladly offer 11 different style Lamy nibs that fit the Safari–including the calligraphy 1.1mm through 1.9mm nibs normally reserved for the “Joy” pen by Lamy!

Why Lamy and Yard-O-Led?

Lamy is a fantastic brand that makes really good, really affordable fountain pens for any skill-level of fountain pen user. Their terrific German engineering makes them durable for any adventure you go on, and their nibs are so smooth and reliable.

Yard-O-Led is a writing instrument company in England that specializes in luxury pens not frequently found here in the United States. Their pens and pencils are made of sterling silver and are true works of art. They are damn good writers, too. I think if American pen users were more familiar with them, they would switch their allegiances from Mont Blanc to Yard-O-Led in a hurry.

Well, have fun exploring the new section of the site, and rest assured more pens are coming! In the meantime, please let us know what you think about the new section and how it works for you.

Improve Your Handwriting Today

See the difference a 1.5mm Lamy nib can make for your handwriting. Not only do the letters take on more distinctive shapes, the ink, itself, provides shadows and highlights on every letter. It is far more interesting than a boring old fine-point nib.

See the difference a 1.5mm Lamy nib can make for your handwriting? Not only do the letters take on more distinctive shapes, the ink, itself, provides shadows and highlights on every letter. It is far more interesting than a boring old fine-point nib.

It should be noted that my handwriting is terrible. Some of my friends who almost never write anything by hand think it is amazing simply because I can still do it. No writing expert on earth would praise it. However, with a with a nice broad stub nib, it looks much more exotic and fascinating.

You, too, can impress some of the people some of the time with a few simple handwriting tricks I have picked up over the years.

Unless you already have beautiful penmanship, I recommend staying away from those extra-fine nibs that are so in vogue today. Relax and let your handwriting out a bit to breathe.

Lamy calligraphy nibs range in size from 1.1mm to 1.9mm. Each provides a distinctive nuance to you handwriting. The Lamy Joy fountain pen set is a great way to try all three sizes for fewer than $70.

Lamy calligraphy nibs range in size from 1.1mm to 1.9mm. Each provides a distinctive nuance to you handwriting. The Lamy Joy fountain pen set is a great way to try all three sizes for fewer than $70.

Trick #1 to Handwriting Coolness: A stub nib. We now carry brand-new Lamy Joy calligraphy sets that feature three nibs: a 1.1mm nib, 1.5mm nib and a 1.9mm nib. These super-smooth broad flat steel nibs can create some wicked curves, lines and angles in your natural handwriting.

Trick #2 to Handwriting Coolness: Slow down.

Trick #3 to Handwriting Coolness: Think about what you are doing. When using a stub nib, the angle at which you write becomes crucial to developing richer characters. Experiment with ways to use the flat edge sideways for skinny lines and the flat edge of the nib vertically for thick lines. Watch as you practice O’s for how the circle should grow from skinny to fat and skinny again. See what happens when you try to grip your pen in one set position and write with your arm instead of your fingers and wrist. By setting the wrist, you can make more dynamic letters.

Trick #4 to Handwriting Coolness: Ink. If you think all inks are the same, think again. Most bottled inks are inconsistent, especially when using a stub nib. Very few blacks are true blacks, and many blues and blue-blacks are also inconsistent.

For example: Yard-O-Led Jet Black is really a charcoal grey. With a 1.5mm nib, the inconsistency is obvious, as the ink goes from black to grey in places. This gives your writing a fascinating texture and appeal. Pelikan and Cross (Okay, these two inks are exactly the same because they are made and bottled by Pelikan.) Royal Blue ink also has many inconsistent colorings when written with any medium nib or larger. Just keep in mind that Pelikan Royal Blue also fades heavily with time. It might not be ideal for your archiving projects.

I hope this helps set you on the write…oops…right path to improving your handwriting and developing a fascinating new look to your correspondence.

Yes, yes. It is a shameless plug, but I really do hope you consider buying one of our Lamy Joy sets because they really will introduce you (or a loved one) to several great stub nib variations that write well for a very affordable price under $70. The sets not only come with three nibs, but ink cartridges and an instruction manual with advice about making the most of the nibs. It is even packaged in a handy collector’s tin.

If you really want to get all fancy-shmancy, try our rare Mont Blanc Generations fountain pen with a 14k stub nib for only $99.99.